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An open-source software platform for translational photoacoustic research and its application to motion-corrected blood oxygenation estimation

by   Thomas Kirchner, et al.

Photoacoustic (PA) imaging systems based on clinical linear ultrasound arrays have become increasingly popular in translational PA research. Such systems can be more easily integrated in a clinical workflow due to the simultaneous access to ultrasonic imaging and their familiarity of use to clinicians. In contrast to more complex setups, hand held linear probes can be applied to a large variety of clinical use cases. However, most translational work with such scanners is based on proprietary development and as such not accessible to the community. In this contribution, we present a custom-built, hybrid, multispectral, real-time photoacoustic and ultrasonic imaging system with a linear array probe that is controlled by software developed within the Medical Imaging Interaction Toolkit (MITK) a highly customizable and extendable open-source software platform. Our software offers direct control of both the laser and the ultrasonic system and may serve as a starting point for various translational research projects and developments. To demonstrate the applicability of the platform, we used it to implement a new method for blood oxygenation estimation in the presence of non-rigid inter-frame motion caused by pulsing arteries. Initial results from experiments with healthy human volunteers demonstrate the suitability of the method with the sample clinical application of imaging the common carotid artery as well as peripheral extremity vessels.


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